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Rutherglen Reformer - - Motors -

When your global best­seller is due to be re­vamped de­sign­ers and engi­neers face a daunt­ing task.

They have to im­prove the prod­uct with­out los­ing all the things that have made it pop­u­lar in the first place.

The team at Mazda have man­aged that task by build­ing on the suc­cess of their out­go­ing CX-5 - a car that in­tro­duced their SKY­AC­TIV tech­nol­ogy and KODO soul of mo­tion de­sign phi­los­o­phy.

The re­sult is a new CX-5 that looks bet­ter, of­fers more tech­nol­ogy and boasts a cabin that can com­pete with any­thing in the pre­mium sec­tor.

De­signed un­der the con­cept of ‘re­fined tough­ness’ the new range starts at just £23,695 for the 2.0-litre front wheel drive petrol ver­sion and rises to £31,395 for the flag­ship 2.2-litre Sport Nav all-wheel-drive ver­sion with 175PS.

This means that the CX-5 costs about £1,000 more across the range but you get lots more for your cash and com­pared to the pre­mium brands the CX-5 re­mains ex­cel­lent value for money.

Mazda has im­proved the SUVs al­ready great looks by ad­ding a sharp new front end which fea­tures a jut­ting nose, en­larged grille and larger badge. New slim­mer head­lights and a longer bon­net make it sleeker than be­fore and new tail lights adorn the hand­some rump.

A new roof line makes it lower than the out­go­ing model and although the width and wheel­base are iden­ti­cal the smoother panel sur­faces give the CX-5 a sleeker look.

Sur­pris­ingly the new car bucks the cur­rent trend by ad­ding around 50kg of weight, the re­sult of new in­su­la­tion and vi­bra­tion dead­en­ing fea­tures which com­bine to make the CX-5 much qui­eter than be­fore with road, wind and en­gine noise all be­ing re­duced.

Step in­side the com­pletely re-de­signed cabin and you will find things are fa­mil­iar but hugely im­proved. A new up­dated sev­eninch touch­screen which can also be op­er­ated with a ro­tary con­trol now sits on top of the dash and the ma­te­ri­als are all soft-touch and of good qual­ity.

Equip­ment lev­els are strong even on base SE-L mod­els, and the Sport Nav car I drove comes with 19-inch al­loys, heated elec­tric leather seats, a sun­roof, an elec­tric tail­gate, key­less en­try and a Bose ten speaker sound sys­tem. There’s also a heads-up dis­play, front and rear park­ing sen­sors and heated steer­ing wheel, mean­ing the CX-5 gets more kit than most of its ri­vals. The spa­cious cabin of­fers room for five adults and the 506-litre boot is three litres big­ger than be­fore but this can be in­creased to 1,620 litres by fold­ing the rear seats. The three power plants have been car­ried over with some mi­nor im­prove­ments and I drove away the 2.2-litre diesel with the larger 175PS out­put, man­ual gear­box and all­wheel drive. Per­for­mance is as strong as ever and the slick six-speed man­ual gear­box makes it feel as if you are driv­ing a nippy hatchback. You reach 62mph in just 9.0 sec­onds with a top speed of 129mph and there is bags of grunt for over­tak­ing. The claimed com­bined fig­ure is 52.3mpg with emis­sions of 142g/km.

The new CX-5 pro­vides a good driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with lit­tle fuss. It copes with all road sur­faces and the sus­pen­sion deals with any road im­per­fec­tions. It munches mo­tor­way miles with ease and for a large SUV it deals well with the twisty stuff.

The steer­ing is nicely weighted and there is sur­pris­ingly lit­tle roll on tight cor­ners and the new­comer fea­tures Mazda’s G-Vec­tor­ing sys­tem to make it more ag­ile.

As you would ex­pect the new CX-5 is also crammed with all the lat­est safety tech­nol­ogy to help keep you and your fam­ily safe.

I had the unique ex­pe­ri­ence of driv­ing the first gen­er­a­tion model to In­ver­ness where I col­lected the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion model and was in­stantly able to ap­pre­ci­ate the many im­prove­ments made to an al­ready ex­cel­lent prod­uct.

Head­ing back the next day from the Aberdeen area in truly atro­cious weather con­di­tions I was thank­ful for the limpet-like grip pro­vided by the all-wheel drive sys­tem in rain for­merly only ex­pe­ri­enced in the trop­ics.

This new­comer is cer­tainly an im­prove­ment over its pre­de­ces­sor thanks to its sharp de­sign, higher qual­ity in­te­rior and fine han­dling.

It is one of the best fam­ily SUVs on sale and is a great all-rounder and com­pet­i­tively priced.

Sharp lines Mazda’s new CX-5 de­sign looks sleek and stylish

Open road The Mazda CX-5 SUV eats up the miles

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